You’ve finally decided to start your blog! Setting up a blog can be intimidating, and after hours of research online, you only feel confused and misguided. Relax. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to get this done.
A blog is a great way to share your products, thoughts, or services with the world. So if you have a lot to say but feel like no one cares, set up your blog! A blog helps you gain an audience or a customer base, especially if you have a message or service to get across.
We’re going to go through a few simple steps for you to start your blog, design it, and start posting in less than 30 minutes!
Step 1: Decide on a Blog Type
Firstly, you need to have a clear idea of what blog type you want. Is it a journal blog where you share your daily routine and thoughts, a niche blog for your love of cheese or football, a business blog to promote your business? There are plenty of blog types out there to look into.
Also, you’re not limited to just one type. Check out the different types and decide on yours.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
Picking the right blogging platform is the most crucial step to take. There are many blogging platforms out there, but the most popular three would be WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger.
I’d recommend WordPress because it’s easy to use, and it’s functional, with many options. 48% of bloggers use WordPress as a blogging platform. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what it is!
With WordPress, you can choose a free blog, or a WordPress hosted blog. A free blog is simple to set up with four clear steps (more on that later). However, users shy away from this choice because of its restrictions. What types of restrictions?
- You’ll have limited storage space, so you won’t be able to upload freely without eventually upgrading your plan.
- Limited themes and you can’t use a customized theme
- No plugins
- You don’t have a web host, meaning your blog is not yours and can be removed or deleted at any time.
- No domain name, only a subdomain. This means you’ll always have wordpress.com tagging along with your blog’s name, for example, example.wordpress.com, not too pretty, huh?
- You can’t monetize your blog (No Ads)
WordPress’s paid plans are a bit better yet still limited, and after the personal package, which is at $4 per month, it starts to get pricey. A better alternative would be to get a WordPress self-hosted blog, also known as the popular WordPress (WordPress.org).
Why is WordPress.org better? Because it’s yours to do whatever you want with it! You’d be able to customize it, enjoy more storage, install plugins, and, most importantly, monetize it.
Step 3: Choose your web host and domain name
If you’ve decided to go with WordPress’s free blog or one of the paid plans, you won’t need to choose a web host and will only need to think about a domain name (or subdomain in case you go with the free plan).
However, if you’ve decided to use the self-hosted blog, giving you more options for less money, you’ll need to find a web host for your blog, which can cost as low as $2 per month. As for the domain name, it’ll cost from $10 to $15 per year, which isn’t too shabby. Some web hosts offer you a free domain with registering. Check out Bluehost or iPage.
When choosing a domain name, remember to choose something easy to remember yet catchy, so steer clear from hyphens, numbers, or anything confusing. Also, always try to go with a .com website first because it’s the most common. If not, then look at .org or .net.
Step 4: Install WordPress and get down to business
Once you’ve settled on a web host and domain name, you install WordPress, activate it, and voila! You got your blog.
Now that it’s all set up, log into your WordPress account using your generated username and password, then go to your dashboard to start customizing!
Step 5: Customize your blog:
Selecting a theme is the most fun part of setting up your blog. You’re provided with hundreds of themes to choose from. You can set up filters according to most popular, industry, etc. and personalize your blog to represent you. Enjoy previewing any theme, then once you find your pick, activate it.
After you’ve chosen your theme, you can choose to add pages to your blog, widgets, pictures, plugins, or more. Explore all your dashboard options to see what you’d like.
Step 6: Your first Post
Once you have the basics set, you’re ready to put out your first post! Go to the menu section on the dashboard and click on Posts then Add New. An edit box will show up. This is where you start your writing. When you’re done, you can choose to save the draft, preview it or publish it.
Also, don’t forget to add categories and tags to your post. This is very important. Each post needs to fall under a specific category (music, food, work… etc.) to organize your blog, and then you add tags which is more specific according to the post. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about cheese recipes, you’ll put it in the food category but then add tags like cheese, recipes, and so on.
And just like that, you got your blog set up and your first post out into the world! Easy, right?